Loving vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case

Posted in Books, Forthcoming Media, History, Law, Novels, United States, Virginia on 2017-01-20 23:14Z by Steven

Loving vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case

Chronicle Books
2017-01-31
260 pages
7-1/4 x 10 in
Hardcover ISBN: 9781452125909

Patricia Hruby Powell

Illustrated by Shadra Strickland

From acclaimed author Patricia Hruby Powell comes the story of a landmark civil rights case, told in spare and gorgeous verse. In 1955, in Caroline County, Virginia, amidst segregation and prejudice, injustice and cruelty, two teenagers fell in love. Their life together broke the law, but their determination would change it. Richard and Mildred Loving were at the heart of a Supreme Court case that legalized marriage between races, and a story of the devoted couple who faced discrimination, fought it, and won.

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The fourth Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference celebrates the 50th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Forthcoming Media, Gay & Lesbian, Identity Development/Psychology, Latino Studies, Live Events, Native Americans/First Nation, Social Justice, Social Science, United States on 2017-01-16 21:21Z by Steven

The fourth Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference celebrates the 50th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia

Critical Mixed Race Studies Association
2016-12-08

Laura Kina
Telephone: 773-325-4048; E-Mail: cmrsmixedrace@gmail.com

LOS ANGELES, CA – The fourth Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference, “Explorations in Trans (gender, gressions, migrations, racial) Fifty Years After Loving v. Virginia,” will bring together academics, activists, and artists from across the US and abroad to explore the latest developments in critical mixed race studies. The Conference will be held at The University of Southern California from February 24-26, 2017 at the USC Ronald Tutor Campus Center, 3607 Trousdale Parkway, Los Angeles, CA 90089 and is hosted by the Shinso Ito Center for Japanese Religions and Culture.

The conference will include over 50 panels, roundtables, and caucus sessions organized by the Critical Mixed Race Studies Association as well as feature film screenings and live performances organized by the non-profit Mixed Roots Stories. The conference is pleased to run concurrently with the Hapa Japan Festival February 22- 26, 2017.

The year 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Supreme Court decision in Loving v. Virginia, which declared interracial marriage legal. With a focus on the root word “Trans” this conference explores interracial encounters such as transpacific Asian migration, transnational migration from Latin America, transracial adoption, transracial/ethnic identity, the intersections of trans (gendered) and mixed race identity, and mixed race transgressions of race, citizenship, and nation…

Read the entire press release here. View the program guide here.

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When the Serendipitously Named Lovings Fell in Love, Their World Fell Apart

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, History, Law, Media Archive, United States, Virginia on 2016-12-28 01:13Z by Steven

When the Serendipitously Named Lovings Fell in Love, Their World Fell Apart

Smithsonian.com
2016-12-23

Christopher Wilson, Director of the African American History Program and Experience and Program Design
Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, Washington, D.C.

The new film captures the quiet essence of the couples’ powerful story, says Smithsonian scholar Christopher Wilson

“My theory is, strong people don’t need strong leaders,” said human rights leader Ella Baker, who worked behind the scenes of the Black Freedom Movement for more than five decades. Her vision of participatory democracy was eloquently summed up in the composition “Ella’s Song,” written by Bernice Johnson Reagon, founding member of the music ensemble “Sweet Honey in the Rock.”

Not needing to clutch for power, not needing the light just to shine on me

I need to be just one in the number as we stand against tyranny.

The song honors Baker’s organic and populist activist philosophy of ordinary people working at the grassroots to create a more humane nation.

The story of Mildred and Richard Loving whose decade-long fight to live their lives, follow their hearts, and stay in their home culminated in the 1967 landmark case Loving v. Virginia that struck down laws against interracial marriage in the United States follows this sentiment.

Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter grew up in a rural community in Caroline County, Virginia. Despite statewide laws, rules and customs designed to keep the races separate, the Lovings’ community, isolated and agricultural, was quite integrated.

In the face of the long-held sexual taboos at the heart of white supremacist violence, the serendipitously named Lovings fell in love, but unlike others who kept such relationships hidden, in 1958 they drove to Washington, D.C., where they could legally get married.

The Lovings kept to themselves, but eventually word got out about their marriage. “Somebody talked,” Richard Loving said. Weeks later, they were arrested for violating Virginia’s 1924 Racial Integrity Act after a late night bedroom raid by the local sheriff, who was hoping to catch them having sex, which was also illegal. The Lovings pled guilty in January 1959 and were sentenced to one year in prison, but their sentence was suspended on the condition that they leave Virginia and not return together for 25 years. They couple moved to the District of Colombia, but longed to go home to the community they knew and loved. Five years later, in 1964, Mildred Loving sought relief by writing Attorney General Robert Kennedy and asking for help. Kennedy referred them to the American Civil Liberties Union, and three years later the Supreme Court unanimously ruled race-based legal restrictions on marriage unconstitutional.

The recently released film Loving, written and directed by Jeff Nichols and based on the wonderful 2011 documentary The Loving Story by Nancy Buirski, powerfully and artfully tells this story and testifies to the ability of feature films to take on historical subjects and add to public understanding of the past without fabricating events and misleading viewers…

Read the entire article here.

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A long history of accepting interracial couples and mixed race children exists in the black community, if only because no alternatives seem to exist.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2016-12-19 01:42Z by Steven

A long history of accepting interracial couples and mixed race children exists in the black community, if only because no alternatives seem to exist. James Baldwin laid bare this ugly truth during a televised debate with a white conservative. When asked about what whites feared most, “Would you want your [white] daughter to marry one [black]?” Baldwin retorted, “You’re not worried about me marrying your daughter—you’re worried about me marrying your wife’s daughter. I’ve been marrying your daughter since the days of slavery.”

Peter Cole, “Where Has All the Loving Gone? A Review of the New Film, ‘Loving’,” African American Intellectual History Society, November 27, 2016. http://www.aaihs.org/where-has-all-the-loving-gone-a-review-of-the-new-loving-film/.

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Opinion of Judge Leon M. Bazile (January 22, 1965)

Posted in Law, Statements, United States, Virginia on 2016-12-19 01:20Z by Steven

Opinion of Judge Leon M. Bazile (January 22, 1965)

Source: Encyclopedia Virginia

In this written judgment, dated January 22, 1965, Leon M. Bazile, judge of the Caroline County Circuit Court, refuses a motion on behalf of Richard and Mildred Loving to vacate their 1959 conviction for violating the state law that forbids interracial marriage. The Lovings eventually appealed their case to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled in their favor in 1967.

The parties were guilty of a most serious crime. As said by the Court in Kinney’s Case 30 Gratt 865: “It was a marriage prohibited and declared absolutely void. It was contrary to the declared public law, founded upon motives of public policy—a public policy affirmed for more than a Century, and one upon which social order, public morality and the best interests of both races depend. This unmistakable policy of the legislature founded, I think, on wisdom and the moral development of both races, has been shown by not only declaring marriages between whites and negroes absolutely void, but by prohibiting and punishing such unnatural alliances with severe penalties. The laws enacted to further uphold this declared policy would be futile and a dead letter if in fraud of these salutary enactments, both races might, by stepping across any imaginary line bid defiance to the law by immediately returning and insisting that the marriage celebrated in another state or county should be recognized as lawful, though denounced by the public law of the domicile as unlawful and absolutely void.”

Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his [arrangement] there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix…

Read the entire opinion here.

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The Lovings dared to cross the color line, and their story reveals why that color line was constructed. In fact, the Loving decision was the first and only time the Court ever used the potent words ‘White Supremacy’ (in caps) to name such ideology.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2016-12-19 01:12Z by Steven

“I’ve been describing Sheryll Cashin’s next book partly as a history of white supremacy in America,” says Cashin’s editor, Joanna Green. “Cashin powerfully illustrates how white supremacy was and is foundational to US capitalism and expansion; thus, segregation proves to be an essential tactic. The Lovings dared to cross the color line, and their story reveals why that color line was constructed. In fact, the Loving decision was the first and only time the Court ever used the potent words ‘White Supremacy’ (in caps) to name such ideology. It’s surprising that so few people are aware of this case.”

Ayla Zuraw-Friedland, “Beacon Goes to the Movies: “Loving” and the History of White Supremacy,” Beacon Broadside: A Project of Beacon Press, December 15, 2016. http://www.beaconbroadside.com/broadside/2016/12/beacon-goes-to-the-movies-loving-and-the-history-of-white-supremacy.html.

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Where Has All the Loving Gone? A Review of the New Film, ‘Loving’

Posted in Articles, Biography, Book/Video Reviews, History, Law, Media Archive, United States, Virginia on 2016-12-18 01:38Z by Steven

Where Has All the Loving Gone? A Review of the New Film, ‘Loving’

African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS)
2016-11-27

Peter Cole, Professor of History
Western Illinois University

A new film about the Southern working class couple whose love and dedication broke the back of anti-miscegenation laws across the nation arrives just in time. Released days prior to Donald Trump’s election, viewers of Loving might be shocked to discover that anti-racist, blue-collared, white men—like Richard Loving—walked Southern soil. He was brave (or ignorant) enough to think he could get away with marrying a black woman; wise enough to know she was smarter than him. His deferral to her effort to seek legal counsel ultimately overturned laws banning interracial marriage in the landmark Supreme Court decision, Loving v. Virginia (1967).

Beneath the film, the Lovings’ story also speaks to the centuries-long effort by white supremacists to create a “white race” and defend it from “race-mixing”(also called miscegenation). In 1958, Richard Loving, 23, and Mildred Jeter, 17, married in the District of Columbia. They did so because Virginia outlawed interracial marriages, one of twenty-four states with similar laws at the time. Richard was “white,” Mildred “black” though actually a mixture of African American and Rappahannock Indian.

So began their nine-year odyssey that ended with the Court unanimously ruling that states could not prevent a man and a woman from marrying, regardless of their racial identities. Written and directed by Jeff Nichols, critics at Cannes hailed the motion picture and Oscar buzz has begun. The film deserves high praise and wide viewership, anchored by incredible performances from Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton, the two principal actors…

Read the entire review here.

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Beacon Goes to the Movies: “Loving” and the History of White Supremacy

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, History, Law, Media Archive, United States, Virginia on 2016-12-17 22:55Z by Steven

Beacon Goes to the Movies: “Loving” and the History of White Supremacy

Beacon Broadside: A Project of Beacon Press
2016-12-15

Ayla Zuraw-Friedland, Editorial Assistant

When publicity assistant Perpetua Charles and senior editor Joanna Green first began planning a staff trip to see the film Loving in celebration of Beacon’s forthcoming book on the same topic five months ago, they couldn’t have known for sure what our political environment would be as they and fellow members of the Beacon Press staff walked through a rainy November night to the theater. Exactly a week after the country watched the electoral votes tally in favor of a divisive Republican presidential candidate, we came together to view a retelling of how Mildred and Richard Loving, a young interracial couple from Virginia, helped end the ban on interracial marriage in the United States.

“Biopics like this leave you with an overwhelming sense of hope, right? Making you think that as soon as the anti-miscegenation laws were overturned, every interracial couple was getting married left and right and naysayers kept their mouths shut. But that’s surely not what happened,” Perpetua said, going into the film.

From reading an early copy of Sheryll Cashin’s upcoming book, Loving: Interracial Intimacy in America and the Threat to White Supremacy, I gradually came to the understanding that the story this film set out to tell feels big because it is big. Not only is it the story of Richard and Mildred Loving—their love, their decision to formally wed, their beloved hometown of Central Point, Virginia turning against them, their exile to Washington D.C., and the ten years they spent mired in the legal battle that would culminate in the seminal Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court decision. It is also a four hundred-year-old story of people defying a deeply entrenched and fiercely protected color line to love or marry in America. It is a story that has gone on for as long as this country has existed, and as this election has confirmed, is nowhere near over…

Read the entire review here.

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Evolution of interracial marriage

Posted in Articles, History, Law, Media Archive, United States, Videos, Virginia on 2016-11-30 23:58Z by Steven

Evolution of interracial marriage

WSLS-TV 10
Roanoke, Virginia
2016-11-22

Brie Jackson, Anchor/Reporter

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) – The story of one Virginia couple whose love for one another changed history is being shown on the big screen nationwide including the Grandin Theatre.

Loving” tells the story of Mildred and Richard Loving. He was white, she was black and Native American. Decades ago, their marriage was against the law in Virginia and several other states. Their love story broke barriers for interracial couples.

In 1958, the couple married in Washington, D.C. where it was legal, but returned home to Virginia and were arrested. A judge sentenced the couple to prison unless they left the commonwealth for 25 years. They did, but returned to the state five years later and were jailed again. Eventually their case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court where the court ruled the ban on interracial marriage unconstitutional.

That 1967 decision paved the way for others to marry who they love regardless of race.

“The bottom-line, if you love someone it does not matter the color of your skin,” said Pamela Casey.

Pamela and Corwin Casey’s love story begins in 1980 when Corwin was an activities director at a children’s home in North Carolina. Pamela said they met on her first day. She arrived as a volunteer from her church in Ohio

Read the entire article here.

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An Unsung Hero in the Story of Interracial Marriage

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, History, Law, Media Archive, United States, Virginia on 2016-11-21 21:44Z by Steven

An Unsung Hero in the Story of Interracial Marriage

The New Yorker
2016-11-17

David Muto, Copy Editor/Senior Web Producer


Bill and Carol Muto on their wedding day, eight years after the U.S. Supreme Court, in Loving v. Virginia, struck down interracial-marriage bans.
COURTESY BILL AND CAROL MUTO

At my parents’ wedding, in Blacksburg, Virginia, my mom wore a floppy, wide-brimmed hat atop her feathered hair. My dad wore lightly flared pants and had sideburns that almost reached his jaw. Peter, Paul and Mary music played at their ceremony, and at the reception afterward they drank sherbet punch alongside friends and family members dressed in plaid and platform shoes. It was a fairly ordinary American wedding in 1975, save for one distinction: the bride was white, and the groom was Asian.

My dad, a third-generation Japanese-American from Los Angeles, and my mom, from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, had met in Michigan, in 1970, while he was in the Air Force and she was in college studying nursing. They eventually settled in Texas, where they raised my three siblings and me. As a gay man, I’ve often thought about how my parents’ timing was fortuitous. Just a few years earlier, their marriage may not have been legal in the state where they wed, Virginia. The new film “Loving,” directed by Jeff Nichols, tells the story of the couple who changed that: Mildred and Richard Loving, a black woman and a white man who were arrested in Virginia in 1958 and sentenced to prison there after marrying in Washington, D.C. The couple, played by Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton, toiled silently for years, unable to live openly together in their home state, until their case reached the Supreme Court—which, in a unanimous decision in 1967, struck down all interracial-marriage bans throughout the U.S.

The Lovings are the couple whose names we rightfully remember from the case, and they’re indeed the stars of the film. But, buried in the footnotes of the Lovings’ story, a little-known name caught my attention—that of a Japanese-American lawyer who gave Asian-Americans, and families like mine, a voice at a pivotal moment in constitutional history…

Read the entire article here.

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